Former Czech prime minister appointed central bank governor

PRAGUE – Czech President Milos Zeman has appointed his ally and former Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok to be governor of the central bank.

Rusnok replaces Miroslav Singer whose second term expires in July.

Under Singer, the bank started to use foreign-exchange interventions to weaken the currency, the koruna. The move was partly prompted by low inflation rates and meant to stabilize the exchange rate against the euro at around 27 koruna ($1.1).

Rusnok was appointed to the six-year term Wednesday. An economic adviser to Zeman, he led a temporary caretaker government of technocrats appointed by him in 2013.

Although Zeman criticized the bank’s interventions, Rusnok, who joined the bank’s board in 2014, supports them.

Analysts say his appointment should ensure the continuity of the bank’s policies.